Business Burglary Defense Lawyers
Burglary is a serious and confusing crime. The State of Texas has enacted tough laws to punish people who break into buildings without permission, and police go after burglary suspects with focus and determination.
Law enforcement is particularly aggressive when someone is putting pressure on either the police department or the District Attorney’s office to do something about an alleged crime.
We see that kind of pressure in cases where the building in question is a business. Owners are eager to recoup any losses from an alleged burglary and to demonstrate to their customers (and the rest of the public) that their establishment is secure.
So while Texas doesn’t have a statute that specifically treats business burglary differently from other “ordinary” burglaries, the reality is that a commercial victim is likely to insist on as little leniency as possible.
That’s why it’s so important that anyone facing business burglary charges in Texas take immediate and strategic steps to protect themselves from damaging consequences.
Depending on the nature of your case, a burglary conviction could put you behind bars. Moreover, you could face big fines, a criminal record, and a tarnished reputation. Criminal convictions can make it harder to get a good job, get into a good school, or create the future you want for yourself.
Unfortunately, people sometimes get slapped with a burglary charge in situations that they never dreamed could constitute a burglary.
Most people don’t realize, for instance, that theft is not an element of burglary. In other words, you could become a convicted burglar without ever stealing a thing.
People have even been charged with business burglary in situations where they honestly believed they had permission to enter the building, or when they were merely attempting to access property they believed to be open to the public.
Burglary prosecutions in Texas are frequently unfair. Don’t let a business trample on your rights just to make an example. Their version of the facts shouldn’t trump yours. You deserve the best defense you can find.
Oberheiden, P.C. is an experienced Dallas criminal defense firm with years of experience in both state and federal court. Our Dallas burglary defense attorneys are prepared to fight for you, defend your freedom, and aggressively pursue a dismissal of each criminal count in your case. Please call us today.
Intent Is Relevant to Business Burglary Cases
As mentioned earlier, burglary cases often boil down to a simple mistake or misunderstanding. That’s especially true in the business context, because most business buildings are indeed open to the public for much of the day. You can see, then, how occasional confusion might arise about who is allowed inside which areas and at which times.
We see this happen with employees and ex-employees, too. A recently terminated employee might return an hour after closing on their final shift to retrieve a jacket from inside the break room, for example. The business owner may wish to press criminal burglary charges. But merely entering without permission isn’t enough. Conviction also requires criminal intent.
To prove the crime of burglary in Texas, the prosecution must be able to prove that you entered the building without permission and with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside. The burden of proof is on the state, and as Dallas burglary defense attorneys, it’s our job to challenge the state’s intent assertions at every turn.
Things You Need to Know About Burglary in Texas
There is a lot of confusion about burglary in the general public. The following distinctions are important to keep in mind:
- The fact that a door is open or unlocked is not a defense by itself. In other words, you don’t have to “break into” the business in order to be convicted.
- Even putting a single arm or leg in the building could be enough to support a burglary conviction. Likewise, any instrument that you’re holding at the time can be considered an extension of your body.
- A person who illegally enters a building with the intent to steal something but then changes his or her mind once inside, and then leaves without committing any further crimes, is still guilty of burglary. (Of course, the prosecution will have the challenge of proving the defendant’s intent beyond a reasonable doubt.)
- Texas applies much tougher penalties to burglary when the building in question is a person’s home or dwelling.